Ford’s shifting toward a “build-to-order” strategy.
If you’re thinking about test driving a hybrid Ford Maverick before pulling the trigger, you may have to sit tight for awhile. According to a Ford dealer representative posting to MaverickTruckClub forums, only customers who already have a the Maverick Hybrid on order will be able to get the trucks.
That’s partially down to a limited allocation — per the rep from Granger Ford in Iowa, only about 35% of total Maverick production will be the Hybrid model. Over time, that will ramp up to 40% throughout the 2022 model year production run. 100% of Hybrid production is going to fulfill customer orders, at least for the time being. Even if that weren’t the case, a 60/40 split between retail orders and dealer stock orders would result in an unlikely scenario that you’d be able to find a Maverick Hybrid just sitting on the lot to test drive and consider purchasing.
While dealer stock may stabilize in the next few months, Ford CEO Jim Farley signaled the company’s intent to shift away from the traditional approach, and more toward a build-to-order strategy. Thanks to the COVID pandemic and the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, packed dealer lots are hardly a reality anywhere in the country right now. Despite the rough inventory situation, though, dealers have managed to clear higher per-vehicle margins, as has Ford itself by reducing massive incentives to move stagnant inventory.
Even with the current supply and demand issue, this could be the way forward.
“I know we’re wasting money on incentives,” he said on a second-quarter earnings call last week. “We are really committed to going to an order-based system and keeping inventories at 50 to 60 days’ supply.”
Even though external forces may be limiting Maverick Hybrid allocations right now, it could also serve as a glimpse of what’s to come with the buying experience. As buyers warm to online ordering and building out the specific truck they want, however, the old way of just picking a vehicle off the lot may have gone out the door, even if the pandemic hadn’t changed the automotive landscape so dramatically.
Mind you, current allocations (per the MaverickTruckClub post) favor the 2.0-liter EcoBoost over the base Hybrid. If you are looking to get into a Maverick sooner rather than later and want to snap up one from a dealer lot, shifting your search toward that engine is the way to go. Even though it’s not the “default” or cheapest option, at least you may not have to special order them — as you will have to do with the Maverick Hybrid for some time to come.